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Children's Health Protection

Questions and Answers from the November 30, 2004 Pre-Proposal Assistance Call


1. What is the Web site to which we should refer for information on this solicitation?

http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/grants.htm

2. How does one secure a DUNS number and a RIN number?

If your organization does not already have one, procedures for obtaining a DUNS number can be found on page 57701 of the FR notice/Vol. 69, No. 186/Monday, September 27, 2004/Notices. The DUNS Web site is www.dnb.com Exit  Disclaimer. The RIN number is the Federal Tax Identification Number. Check with your finance department for this number.

3. We have a different way of figuring our Indirect Cost Rate than that specified in the solicitation. Is this a problem?

The Indirect Cost Rate is a negotiated rate established with your cognizant agency the first time you receive a Federal grant. If this is your first Federal grant, EPA will be your cognizant agency. See OMB Cost Principles for the available formulas. If your agency has a negotiated Indirect Cost Rate, we will accept that approach. Just explain in the proposal how your rates have been negotiated. Supply the letter with this negotiation information in your proposal.

4. Do you have a preference for projects addressing either ambient or indoor air trigger sources?

No

5. #2 under the Section: "Required Contents of Full Proposal Package" references a Completed EPA Application Kit for Federal Assistance. Is that the same as the SF 424?

No, it is a complete application kit with a number of forms included. This form will be posted on the Web site in the next few days. It includes:

  • Letter to the Applicant from Grants Administration Division
  • Checklist (Very Important)
  • Table of Contents
  • Review of regulations listed to guide your proposal
  • Application receipt letter....fill out for us to return to you to confirm receipt
  • Key contacts list. Complete all requested entries;
  • SF424 copies with instructions
  • Lobby certification forms
  • Procurement Certification form
  • Small Business form 4700

6. Can we partner with a non-profit agency that lobbies?

If you are the prime applicant, you are held responsible for compliance with all grant requirements. Your partner cannot use Federal dollars to lobby. You will need to certify on the Lobbying form that you will not lobby. This statement covers your partner in this relationship as well.

7. Is there any sustainability of funding anticipated under this funding opportunity? Will there be funding for work in subsequent years?

If we are able to fund a similar funding opportunity next year, you might submit a proposal for such a future solicitation which could build on this year’ s proposal if the criteria, etc. are comparable. However, for practical purposes applicants should consider this a one time funding opportunity and should plan to fund future project phases from other sources.

8. What kind of guidance can you offer about how to measure environmental and public health results?

Beyond counting outputs or "beans," such as the number of attendees at a workshop, you might try to measure changes in behavior with pre and post testing or other follow-up actions. We admit to struggling with how to do this ourselves, and we are all learning from each other. Try to answer the question "so what." Try to demonstrate that your actions have made an impact. This is truly challenging.

9. What are the page limitations on proposal responses?

Follow the very specific limitations listed at the start of each section. If the sub-sections and the total number of pages do not match, follow the sub-section page guidance.

10. Is the outdoor/ambient air quality component required?

No

11. Is there flexibility in the start date for a project if all the partners are not lined up in time?

The start date could be negotiated with the Region during the award negotiations. However, the dates cannot fluctuate more than a month or so.

12. Pg 57698 of the September 27, 2004 Federal Register talks about an age range from 0-4 years. Is this the age range for all activities under this solicitation? Can projects focus on children’s environmental health through adolescence?

The 0-4 age range was listed in the context of work with day care facilities, Headstart programs and the like. Overall, the solicitation would cover the full traditional range of ages through adolescence.

13. Under a cooperative agreement, what are EPA’s capabilities that we might access?

Perhaps the most common help from EPA under a cooperative agreement might come in the form of technical assistance as negotiated with the Region during award negotiations. Regions might also be able to suggest partners, review draft products and the like. The applicant should describe the involvement of EPA that they would like. It is theoretically possible that the Region might be able to secure support from another EPA office if that were the request.

14. Will there be a certain number of grants versus cooperative agreements to be funded?

There is no set number of either type of assistance agreement under this solicitation.

15. The Solicitation calls for Letters of Commitment from partners. Can EPA submit a Letter of Commitment?

Applicants cannot "Partner" with EPA under an assistance agreement. A partnership in this context is very narrow and refers to joint responsibility for the project. It is acceptable to collaborate with EPA on a project but EPA is not eligible to be a partner.

16. The Solicitation calls for partnering with social service agencies where appropriate. What does that mean?

We understand that in some states, social service agencies manage day care licensing programs. If your project involves introducing the management of environmental triggers into the inspections of day care facilities, social service agencies might be the gate keepers for working with such facilities.

17. On the subject of measurable outcomes. If a project were to focus on the collection and analysis of data in a new way, might this constitute a measurable outcome?

It seems possible since it might be a means to measure the impact of what we’ re trying to answer. Generically it seems to have potential but we are unable to advise on project content.

18. Is substantial involvement required by both the state or tribal environment and health departments?

Yes, both.

19. If we have a DUNS number from a previous project; do we use the same one on this project?

Yes

20. I recently downloaded an application from the Solicitation Web site which is labeled "Grant Application <$100K." Is this the correct application?

No, this application is NOT THE CORRECT APPLICATION. Instead, it was on the Web site from last year. The Small Grant Application, as it was known, has subsequently been rescinded. You will need to use the "Full & Open Competition Application Kit." We’ll get the link to this one up on our Web site by December 10th.

21. Can I ask questions about my proposal to ensure submission is complete?

No, you should use the checklist and the Solicitation itself to see if you have all the required materials. We can’t do that type of review over the phone.

22. What is the RINs Number?

This is the Federal Tax Identification Number. See the front page of SF 424 for a description.

23. We are currently a sponsored program of a 501(c)3 organization but we are in the process of applying for our own 501(c)3 status. Can we apply on our own?

Until you get your own designation, your sponsoring organization would have to be the applicant. They would be the prime. The grant would be issued to them.

24. If we get air sampling data from other sources is that acceptable?

We may not be able to fund it but it would have to be covered by a quality assurance (QA) plan. The source for more information on QA plans will be posted on this Web page by December 10, 2004.

25. If you need a QA plan to accomplish the project, can we use EPA monies to pay for the development of a plan?

Your QA plan must be specific to your grant. If you don’t have a QA plan when you apply for the grant you have 30 days after the date of award to develop one. If you use personnel to write the plan, you can charge it to the grant. If you have a plan from another project that needs to be modified for this project, the need to update/revise an existing QA plan must be stated as a task in the grant before these grant monies can be used for this purpose.


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